China Is Holding The World's Supply Of Rare Earth Metals Hostage

You may not care the China controls over 95 per cent of the world's supply of rare earth metals, but you might want to.

China is putting a squeeze on the export of these valuable raw materials and building up a national stockpile. Funny thing, the communist superpower is not using these metals to make anything. It's holding them hostage so it can control global supply and price. As you would expect, the supply is going down and the price is going up.

Rare earth metals are used in everything from laser-guided weapons to consumer electronics. Manufacturers are paying more for these metals and will pass this cost along to the consumer. It may take a while, but this increase will eventually trickle down to our wallets and hit us where it hurts the most - our beloved electronics. [The Wall Street Journal]

Republished from Gizmodo


Comments

    This doesn't make sense. It said export! It is clear they are doing this for the Chinese industry. Now even more things will be made in china to overcome this... >_>

    If they have some much rare metals, why are they coming to Australia all the time to buy stuff from the miners. Surely they will have their own that would be cheaper to harvest. Or maybe it's that super plan everyone is talking about on the news for them to come in and invade.

      Rare earth metals, not rare metals. aka things you've probably never heard of but everything you own depends on.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_earth_element

    Rare earth metals are a range of metals that are, well, rare (duh). Or rather they aren't rare but it is very rare to find them in concentrations worth the effort to dig for.
    They get used in everything from consumer electronics to the large permanent magnets used in electric cars and wind turbines. That is one of the suspected reasons for China's stockpiling. China is going into renewable energy big time. In the next 10-15 years they are planning to build and much renewable energy technology as what is currently installed in every other country on earth. And that takes a LOT of rare earth metals.

    Good news though is that Australia and the USA-dians both have a few mines of our own. They just got shut down back in the 70s-80s when China flooded the market with cheaper product. Now that China is driving the price back up there is work going on to start these other mines back up to provide alternative supply now that they are profitable again.

    Prices will probably still go up but I doubt any serious long term shortage.

    thanks LB. that was informative.

    I thought 95 percent of our gadgets is made in china.

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